The College will hire a director for the recently-approved Student Center for Multicultural Life by this summer. The director will work to develop and coordinate multicultural-oriented programs and events.

The idea of creating a new multicultural center with a new director began in fall 2013, when Dean Leana Amaez led a committee to reassess her position, its responsibilities, and how it could better serve the College.

“I began working on the center two years ago,” said Amaez. “We met with a group, came up with a proposal, gave it to Dean [of Student Affairs] Tim Foster and he said ‘This is fantastic, but it looks like another job.’”

Once Amaez returned from maternity leave last summer, the conversation picked up again and details were finalized during the fall semester.

The College’s Multicultural Life has traditionally been supportive of student-led programs and activism but Amaez and Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Director of the David Saul Smith Union Allen Delong explained that the College has been looking to have college-led programs.

“Bowdoin continues to evolve in this really beautiful way—if you look at the demographic of the student body and in some ways, you all have evolved quicker with our administrative structures,” said Delong. “We’re good, but we have students come to campus with a really sophisticated vocabulary in their own identities in a way where they didn’t when I went to college.”

The new Center and its director’s office will be located at 30 College Street and will share the space with the Student Center for Religious and Spiritual Life. However, the Center will host some events and programming at the John Brown Russwurm African American Center as well.

“Russworm has a historical place in the College and 30 College Street houses Multicultural life,” said Amaez. “The Center is comprised of two sister spaces.”

The director will serve to centralize and coordinate various programs from different organizations at the College such as the McKeen Center, the Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, and the Schwartz Outdoor Leadership Center. 

“Really, this position will serve as the hub on the wheel,” said Delong. “This person will be the central clearinghouse to ensure that if there are areas that we can improve, then we’ll do that.”

“I can’t tell you exactly how this Center is going to evolve,” said Foster. “But I have no doubt that when we look back on this a year, two, three years from now, we’re going to see a vibrant Center that’s offering lots of programing but also support for the community in ways that are going to be pretty exciting for the place.” 

Amaez and Delong intend on posting the position publically and finish assembling the search committee of faculty, staff and students by next week. 

“When I think about a year or two from now, I think the question will be ‘what did we do before without this person?’” said Delong.